Monday, March 8, 2010

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Barley with Green Onions, Walnuts and Asparagus

Ben said this dinner was 5 stars!!! The best he has had in awhile... not sure what that means but I'll take it! It really was delicious with lots of flavors yet comprised of very simple and healthy foods. Definitely a must try!! My 1 year old loves barley and he ate it all!! The chicken can be done ahead of time (about 4 hours) and refrigerated until time to bake.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, (pounded thin- I used a meat mallet and pounded between two pieces of wax paper)
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp dried, crumbled basil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Combine cheese, green onions, basil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread mixture lengthwise over half of each chicken piece. Tuck the smaller ends in and roll chicken up, starting on one long side. Brush chicken with egg, and then roll in breadcrumbs.

Place chicken in baking dish and pour melted butter over them. Bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Cut chicken into rolls crosswise and fan on plate.

Barley (adapted from recipe in Super Natural Cooking Cookbook)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup barley
1 tbsp olive oil
6 green onions, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (put in oven on baking sheet while chicken is cooking for about 10 minutes to toast them)
creme fraiche, optional
freshly grated parmesan cheese, garnish

Combine broth and barley in saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped green onions and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in a pinch of salt. Using a hand blender or mini food processor, lightly puree them, but don't over do it.

When the barley is almost done, stir in the asparagus. Let them cook until asparagus is a vibrant green color. Some of the broth may still be in the pot, but as the barley continues to cook off the heat it will be absorbed. Stir in the zest, walnuts, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Put on plate and top with dollop of creme fraiche, a sprinkle of parmesan and the green onion puree.

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